or the western hemisphere.
today in sunday school we talked about paul's epistle to the romans and spent most of the times talking about the interplay between grace and works. it can be a hard pairing to understand, our need for obedience and to keep the commandments of God yet remembering that our works don't save us, that it's through the grace of Christ that we are justified. nephi sums it up best, actually, when he teaches that it is by the grace of Christ that we are saved, after all that we can do. (2ne25:23)
(as a note, it's interesting seeing paul write to some congregations and reminding them that they need to improve their obedience and bring forth good works, then to write to the romans and remind them that they needed to stop keeping the law of moses and trust in the redeeming grace of the Savior. of those two sides to err on, it seems that latter-day saint culture puts too much emphasis on works and not enough trust in grace)
last week at sunday school in san antonio, my friend made a good point. she said that God will sometimes stretch us beyond what we can do precisely for that reason, so that we can't do it without turning to Him.
and i thought about rock climbing. i'm really enjoying it and am learning a lot and like using it as an excuse to get out of the lab. and there are times when i'm high on the wall, gripping onto just a few tiny holds and looking for the next one. despite being 6' 1", the next spot on the route is just barely out of reach and i have to stand on my tip toe to reach it, or even jump slightly.
you don't realize how bloody high you've climbed until you stop and look around once in a while (life moves pretty fast....) and suddenly you're in a position where you have to reach and stretch to move from one tiny foothold just to wrap your fingertips around another spot you can barely hold onto, all on the way to a ledge where you can actually stand for a few moments before moving onto the part of the route.
if you slip, you're going to fall.
but you're not doing to die.
God's your belayer.
He's got your rope.
if you lose your grip in the lunge, you'll slip, the rope will pull tight, and you'll hang there for a moment to catch your breath, then you grab the wall and try it again.
and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. (romans 8:28, 31)